Galleries

The galleries below show a selection of the riches of wildlife to be found in Selsdon Wood. Hover over each image for information or click to see an enlarged version. We would be delighted to add your photographs to the galleries - please send them to selsdonwood@gmail.com.

Amphibians & Reptiles

To date these are the only photos we have of amphibians from Selsdon Wood and there are no sightings of reptiles.

---- Tadpole development - a series of photographs by Tony Flecchia ---- Frog (3) ---- Newt ---- Toad (2) ----

The frogspawn in the Jubilee pond (shown in the first photograph) never hatched in situ. By the time the little tadpoles were ready to emerge the spawn had collapsed and we assumed the stagnant water in the pond had killed it. Fortunately, we had removed a batch of spawn earlier to rear at home and the photos of the developing tadpoles below were taken from this. However, the high attrition rate was troubling and as deaths continued it appeared that the problem was virtually certain to be the ranavirus disease that has been killing frogs worldwide since about 1980. It also affects the developing tadpoles and the symptoms were all evident in these tadpoles, lethargy, loss of feeding, swollen abdomen and pigment changes. Apparently the water that infected frogs enter can become a home for the virus, reinfecting any later frogs and tadpoles, so there is not much hope for our still water pool. The disease also lethally infects all other amphibians and reptiles - which may explain why we have no other sightings. The froglet in the final photograph in the sequence was the only one remaining from the 80 tadpoles that we started with - and sadly it too died the following day
.

Birds

An up-to-date listing of all the Birds seen in Sesldon Wood is provided below. 

The list will be updated when new species are seen additions could occur at any time, particular during migration.


Birds Full List 17.7.18.pdf Birds Full List 17.7.18.pdf
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Over the years we have installed many bird-boxes throughout the wood including, in 2012, 5 tit boxes and 2 owl boxes.

Click here for further details.

Crow Family - Corvidae

---- Carrion Crow (7) ---- Jackdaw ---- Jay (5) ---- Magpie (4) ---

Finch Family Fringillidae

 ---- Greenfinch ---- Chaffinch ---- Siskin (2) ----

Tit Family - Paridae

---- Blue Tit (4) ----Coal Tit ---- Great Tit ---- Long-tailed Tit ---- 

Thrush Family - Turdidae

---- Blackbird (5) ---- Mistle Thrush, Turdus viscivorus (2) ---- Redwing, Turdus iliacus (2)---- Robin (3)  ---- Song Thrush (4) ---

Birds of Prey - Hawks and Owls

---  Buzzard (2) ---- Honey Buzzard ---- Kestrel ---- Sparrowhawk (2) ---- Tawny Owl (5) ----

Woodpeckers

---- Greater Spotted Woodpecker (5) ---- Green Woodpecker (2 + feather) ----

Also see this great story from David Malins about  Woodpeckers nesting by his garden in 2015. 

Other Birds

---- Blackcap ---- Chiffchaff ---- Collared Dove (2) ----  Dunnock ---- Goldcrest ---- Herring Gulls ----  Nuthatch ----

---- Parakeet ---- Pheasant (2) ----  Starling  ---- Stock Dove ---- Swallow ---- Treecreeper ---- Wood Pigeon (2) ----

Mammals

---- Badger (6) ----

---- Deer (7) ----
---- Our Famous White Squirrel (6) -----
This video of our famous white squirrel was taken on March 14th 2017  by Magdalena Kozlowska. Many thanks Magdalena for sharing it with us:-)
white squirrel video.mp4 white squirrel video.mp4
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Also take a look at this great blog about the Selsdon Wood white squirrel written by our regular contributor and photo competition winner Mark Shoesmith. 

http://www.shoeyphoto.com/blog/2015/3/22/albino-squirrels-in-selsdon-wood



---- Foxes (5) ----
---- Bats ----

We do not have photos of bats but they have been observed on our annual Bat Walks and FSW member Steve Budd has started to keep a record of bats recognised with his bat detection equipment (Echo Meter Touch 2 module for IOS, that turns certain recent models of iPhone and iPad into sophisticated bat detectors). He submitted the following report on 18th September:

Ruth mentioned yesterday that the warm day would likely make for good bat detection during the evening, so we put ourselves on the bench by the entrance to Greenhill Way, as we've had Leisler bat 'hits' there, which were not at a level sufficient to forensically examine further and we wanted to try and secure improved recordings. 

To date, Selsdon Wood (SW) is known to have a resident population of Common Pipistrelles and we know a Serotine passed through on the bat walk we attended on July 19, as we recorded and saw it pass over our heads, as we walked back to the car park. Serotines can hunt over about six kilometres and prefer buildings for roost sites, so are likely not resident in SW. 

At about 7.30pm we had a Noctule pass directly by us, registering clearly on the detector. As these are similar to Serotines in their hunting habits, we didn't expect any return passes from the same individual, as they tend to just continue on their way. 

There were further Leisler bat 'hits' while we sat on the bench but these remained at the low levels previously recorded and stepping onto the field and facing the trees did not improve things, so we went about 30 feet up Greenhill Way, to see if they were circulating above the canopy deeper in the woods. No signals registered, disproving that theory, so we came out the entrance and went immediately to our left, into the corner, some 20 odd feet. 

Here, we had Leisler bat recordings well within the quality necessary to ID the species and the Echo Meter Touch 2 was unequivocal in returning 'Leisler' as the bat responsible for the calls. 

Things then got exciting when we had two clear recordings, first coming up as a Whiskered bat (second choice Brandt's bat), interspersed with Common Pipistrelle passes, before a big recording ID'd as a Bechstein's bat (second choice Brandt's bat) came up. 

Over those two recordings, we have three species in the mix. Before referencing the detail of the recordings, we potentially have: 

1. Two recordings of a Brandt's bat. 

2. A Whiskered bat and Brandt's bat. 

3. A Bechstein's bat and Brandt's bat. 

4. A Whiskered bat and Bechstein's bat. 

The Bechstein's bat is a rare species - only about 1,500 estimated in pockets here and there, mainly across southern England. It's a true deciduous woodland species, liking old, established woods and often roosts and overwinters in woodpecker holes. The echo location calls of Bechstein's, Brandt's and Whiskered bats sound very similar but there are important differences revealed in Spectrogram recordings. In essence, the frequency range of the Bechstein's bat is apparently significantly wider than either the Brandt's or Whiskered bats. The former spans some 33.8khz - 111kHz. The latter both span 41kHz - 64kHz. 

Using Wildlife Accoustics software, I measure the Bechstein's acoustic range at between 30 kHz - 102kHz, apparently well above and below the ranges of the Brandt's and Whiskered bats. However, this comes with a caveat that we are not formally trained in bat sound analysis, so regard the evidence as circumstantial, until formally examined by someone suitably accredited. As this is potentially related to a rare species, we are passing the recording to Meicke at Croydon Council and the Surrey and London bat groups for formal identification later today. 

So, in summary, we're confident in the resident and / or transitory presence of Common Pipistrelles / Serotines / Leislers and Noctules and await confirmation that SW has either Brandt's / Brandt's & Whiskered / Brandt's & Bechstein's / Whiskered & Bechstein's. 

Depending on the outcome of further investigations, SW may five, possibly six recorded species. 

Update - 19/9/18

Philip Briggs, from the Bat Conservation Trust has just sent me the following reply, further to the three recordings sent to him and set out in my earlier post: 

"The long linear sweeps would be consistent with Bechstein’s bat but it looks like the end frequencies are a bit too low at times (below 28 kHz) so Natterer’s bat is more likely. Not that you can be 100% sure either way but it’s closer to text book Natterer’s bat. The suggested whiskered/Brandt’s bat identification looks plausible based on call structure (slight kink in the shape) and end frequencies above 30 kHz, though these characteristics would also match some Daubenton’s bat call sequences. 

 I interpret Philip's assessment as a 'majority judgement' that the evidence tips more in favour of it having been a Natterer's bat and unless further evidence comes to light, Natterer will be on the list of SW species - so far, we have: 

Common Pipistrelle 

Serotine 

Noctule 

Leisler's 

Natterer 

That puts SW on a par with Beddington Park, where we've recorded six species so far. All in all, it's a fair start in beginning to understand in more depth, what bats we have as residents within SW and which pass through feeding or mating. 


Other Mammals

---- Cat ----  Mole Hill ---- Rabbit (2) ---- Shrew (2) ---- Squirrel, Grey (2) ---- Short-tailed Bank Vole ---- Woodmouse ----

Sundries

some other interesting signs of vertebrate life to be found in Selsdon Wood:

 ---- Gall Stone ---- Rabbit Droppings ---- Surrey Dragon ---- Solar Light  ---- Squirrel's Drey ---- Woodpecker nest hole ----  Bruno!  Fetch! ----

 ---- Kids Play Shelter ---- Nibbled Nuts ---- Hominid (bike riding) ---- Grave of Pet Rabbit ---- Burrow of Short Tailed Vole ----